The Ram

I haven't been to The Ram in quite awhile, but decided to meet up with friends there on a Monday night to have some dinner and catch up. Frankly, we made out decision to dine there because of a coupon that had come in one of the coupon mailers recently.

The Ram is a local brew pub located near Willamette University, across the street from the train station, and just a short walk from the Salem Hospital. It's well known for its Willamette student crowd, but also draws a big sports crowd due to its gigantic and plentiful TVs. There were a couple of football games on the TVs while we were there and although we did watch them a little here and there, they didn't overpower our conversation.

We asked for a table for six in the bar and they quickly pulled two tables together for us. There are booth options, but they are only good for about 4-5 people. The tables in the middle of the bar are basic, squished pretty closely together, and not ultra comfortable, but they are fine. Not great, but fine. The restaurant was a little on the chilly side and we happened to be seated near the patio door, which opened with a cold rush of air pretty frequently as smokers went in and out. In the future, I would ask to be seated far away from that door on a chilly night.

The bar tends to be a little noisy since there are TVs going and the acoustics just aren't very good, so if you are very sensitive to noise, this isn't the best place. The smaller family dining room (under 21) seems to be a little better on acoustics, but fills up quickly.

Our server was courteous and responsive to our needs, but was not overly friendly. She gave us plenty of time to look over the menu, but checked back a couple of times during the wait to check on drinks. We ordered an array of sandwiches and salads and they all came out at almost the exact same time. The presentation is very nice, a little above your usual sports bar style. They use unique shaped white dishes that and add finishing touches that give it that little "oomph".

I think the food at The Ram qualifies as decently good. It's not the best in town, but its definitely not the worst. As usual, it depends on what you order.  I ordered the Amber Ale Chicken Sandwich which comes with barbecue sauce, french onions, chipotle mayo and coleslaw. Its not something you find at every bar or burger place and it's a nice combination. The chicken was mostly juicy and tender, although the edges were a bit dry. The toppings are really what make this sandwich and I would order it again. Some of the other people at the table ordered salads that looked interesting and tasty, but others looked kind of basic and boring. And I must say, basic seemed to be exactly the way some people like it, so it worked for them.

Everyone was happy with their food and drinks and we all ended up sitting and chatting for quite awhile as the bar was pretty empty and we didn't feel rushed to leave. Our server kindly split the bills for us and was helpful with figuring out the best way to use our coupon.

All in all, although its not always my favorite place because it can get packed and noisy, I'd say its a nice midweek option for a decent meal and it definitely works well for a larger group.


Oregon Maiden said...

To clarify (because I'm not sure how people classify "local brew pub")---The Ram has seventeen places---aside from OR, they're in WA, ID, IL and IN.They're part of RAM International family of restaurants which also includes CB & Potts in CO plus CI Shenanigans and even what they term "Modern Mex" (called Sonrisa) in Washington.

Rebekah said...

Good point. By local I meant Northwest, but I see they've expanded well beyond that at this point.